Miso soup of the day: taste of spring

I had a difficult time in March… but spring has come, bringing hope to everyone.

Sakura is great, but I love canola flowers that tell us coming of early spring. Yellow gives me strong power to live.

I found canola flowers in a supermarket, so made miso soup with lotus root.


Junihitoe (special kimono) experience around Tokyo

I wrote about junihitoe (special kimono) experience on my another website. Send me a message if you are interested in trying this.


Last week, I experienced wearing special kimonos. One is called junihitoe (十二単), multi-layered kimono for court ladies – this is still worn by imperial families on special occasions like their wedding ceremonies. Another one is Kariginu (狩衣), informal clothes worn by nobles when they went hunting in the old time.

Unlike normal kimonos, it is not really easy to have an opportunity to wear these clothes. This time, I had the luck to know a lady who mastered “emon-do (衣紋道)”, special dressing skills and manners to help someone wear this kimono, and she kindly invited me to experience this.

Not only just wearing these kimonos, I could learn how the nobles in the old  time behaved. For example, court ladies in junihitoe could not show their faces, ears and hands in front of people. They used a big fan to cover the face.


Men could show their faces, but instead they had to cover…

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Miso soup of the day: chrysanthemum and Chinese yum

My husband visited our relative and harvested lots of vegetables last November, one of which was chrysanthemum.

In traditional Japanese cooking, we don’t really use edible flowers a lot, except for chrysanthemum and nanohana (canola flowers).

Typically chrysanthemums are used for sunomono, Japanese vinegared food.

But we got quite a lot, so I used some for miso soup.

To prepare, I picked petals off from the flowers and boiled quickly in the hot water with vinegar.

In the miso soup, I added Chinese yum together with chrysanthemum. Both of them are good for health – they have been used as traditional natural medicine.

Nanakusa-gayu (rice porridge with 7 herbs) 2017 ver.

Happy New Year!

I would like to start this year’s blogging with the topic of nanakusa-gayu we eat on January 7. This is to pray for good health as well as to sooth our stomach by eating warm porridge after we eat a lot during the new year’s vacation.

As I introduced two years ago, the seven herbs are: water dropwort, shepherd’s purse, cudweed, chickweed, nipplewort, turnip and radish. They are called “haru-no-nanakusa (7 spring herbs)”.

This year, I got the assortment including red turnip and radish, which made the porridge look more colorful and fun.

Cook rice with five times the amount of water to rice. Boil and cut the herbs to add into the porridge. Serve with salt or soy sauce.

Miso soup of the day: Okinawan-style

If you go and order a miso-soup combo in local restrants in Okinawa (southern islands in Japan), you will be surprised to see how big that miso soup is! Okinawan-style miso soup is filling and nutritious, using lots of ingredients. There are not strict rules – the important thing is to put lots of veggies.

I used bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onions, tofu, eggs, garlic and luncheon meat.
You can replace:

  • cabbage w/ lettuce (if you use lettuce, add it just before adding miso paste)
  • luncheon meat w/ pork or other processed pork like bacon

Here’s how I made it.

  1. Drain tofu (momen-type) to make its texchure like shima-dofu (okinawan-tofu) and cut (If you use shima-dofu, skip this process).
  2. Cut veggies and luncheon meat, then stir-fry with sesami oil in a pot.
  3. Pour water or broth and cook until soft.
  4. Add tofu and a spoonful of grated garlic.
  5. Add miso paste as you like.
  6. Drop an egg/person and boil as you like (like poached egg)
  7. Serve in a bowl!

Miso soup of the day: Kanpyo (dried gourd shavings)

Do you know “kanpyo”? It’s dried gourd shavings – brown, soft, sweet things often found in Japanese sushi rolls.

Last month, I got uncooked kanpyo for the first time in my life! It was produced by my relative who live in Tochigi – this area is famous for kanpyo production.

Kanpyo is a healthy food, abandunt in fiber, calcium and potassium. Like me, however, most of the average Japanese are not really familiar to uncooked kanpyo. When I’m not sure how to cook, I always try to put it in miso soup – Miso never lets me down!

One thing you should keep in mind cooking dried kanpyo is to scrab with salt when washing. Then boil about 15 minutes, cut it to the proper length.

This time, I also add beaten eggs in it, which went quite well with kanpyo.

My Simple Shibui-juru (winter melon soup) Recipe

I didn’t know “shibui-jiru” before I got married with my husband from Okinoerabu, a southern island in Japan.”Shibui” means winter melon in the dialect of his island, and “jiru” means soup. Soup using winter melon is quite popular in Amami and Okinawa islands.

Since I met this soup, I came to make it every summer. Indeed, winter melon is effective to cool down the body heat.

Ingredients: 1/2 winter melon, 300g chiken thigh, 5 dried shiitake mushrooms, sake, mirin, soy sauce, salt


  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms until soft and slice them. Do not throw away the water used to soften the mushrooms, which will be added in the pot later.
  2. Peel and cut winter melon.
  3. Cut chicken thigh.
  4. Put all ingredients in the pot. Add water and boil until they become soft.
  5. Flavor with sake, mirin, soy sauce and salt.


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